tv This Week in Northern California PBS April 13, 2013 1:30am-2:00am PDT
he is visiting. long term. he wants a long-term relationship with china. more economic trade. more investment. more partnerships. he signed formal agreement was the chinese on economic issues. the governor is looking for business deals to bring back home. one was announced about development of the oakland water fronts. $1.5 billion with the bay area group. he has those goals. i think he has been successful. i think jerry brown will measure this in the long term, not short-term and what kind of economic activity will increase between china and california. >> john, what does china have that california wants and vice versa? >> what china has is it has money to invest. obviously this is a country that is a world power and fared
better in the economic downturns than most countries around the world. there is a large growing middle class in china that has money. if you are jerry brown, you want it in two forms. you want large money for the deal we talked about in oakland and you want consumerism. you want them to buy california products. >> he is good on staying on message and staying away from politicking and pomp and ceremony. how has he dealt with that among chinese delegates? >> he has done well with the pomp and circumstance. that is not a jerry brown strong suit. he disdains the trappings of office, usually. he seems to have enjoyed himself having a meeting with the premier of china in mid week. of course, all of the other officials he talked to. as far as issues that maybe others think he should be talking to here and most notably, issues on human rights
issues or cyber security or piracy of entertainment items. the governor is steering clear of those. he has made a very narrow focus. he wants to talk about economic activity. there have been criticisms in california that he should be addressing those issues and talk a little tougher to chinese officials. there is a healthy debate if the governor would achieve anything out of that. jerry brown is a guy, he turned 75 last week, he is comfortable doing what he does best. >> governor brown also traveled on china's high speed rail system. it had a major crash year ago. it is a bullet train and california is angling to build one of its own. how did governor brown use that occasion to talk about california's upcoming project? >> i think there was a little bit of a specific interest on
jerry brown and riding that high speed rail train. then the symbolism. jerry brown is the cheerleader for the high speed rail in california. he gets to see what it is like. we rode from beijing to shanghai. it is a 5.5 hour trip. it is going from oregon border to san diego on high speed train. the governor enjoyed himself. he was talking to the engineers. he asked lots of detailed questions. everywhere he looks in china and this is fascinating, josh, everywhere the governor looks and talks to us, he talks about construction and progress. as he said to us on the train, he said, you know, it seems like we are pondering too much in california. we have to get going. we have to start building things. that's the message jerry brown seems to push forward out of the trip. >> what happens now? how do we measure the value or
success of the trip? >> i think that is a little bit in it eye of the beholder of the value. a couple of things i would point out. the trade in shanghai that the state is new and important. we have not had trade offices since 2003. we closed down a number of them across the world. there was a lot of criticism that they were not effective or good use of taxpayer dollars. this particular office will be funded by private donations organized by the non-profit business group that organized the trade delegation. i don't think there will be a taxpayer dollar issue here in shanghai. i do get back to what i said earlier. the governor has the long-term interest. that matches up with the chinese culture. as you hear time and again, the chinese investors want to know you. they want to have a relationship. a friendship of some sort before you start talking business. i think jerry brown is comfortable with setting the markers here that we can measure in the distance. as i said, i think it is in the
eye of the beholder of how much more economic activity will come out of a trip like this. we have a few more days. it will be interesting. >> john myers joining us from shanghai. john, thank you. >> thank you, joshua. >> while governor brown was in china, a federal appeals court denied the lift on the cap on california's prison population. a three-judge panel threatened him and other state officials with contempt of court. brown will fight all the way to the supreme court if he has to. joining us to discuss this and other stories of the week are chuck nevius and josh richman. the politics reporter for the bay news area. josh, why is governor brown being so defiant on this issue? >> he declared victory after getting the prison population decreased through realignment.
spinning what had been state prison inmates to county jails and other facilities to bring the population down fast. now he is between a rock and hard place. he is taking a lot of flack from his political foes for letting people out who subsequently may commit crimes. every time there is one that commits a crime, they are critical of it. he has the courts breathing down his neck. you made good progress, but you are not done yet. you still have a major overcrowding problem and problem with provision of mental and other health services. >> a bit of a lose-lose. you cannot go wrong with crime. it will be bad. i have taken a couple of trips to san quinton. the place where you can touch both sides of the wall with your hands. >> this has been going on since
2009. they lost an earlier ruling in january which was the first round. is this political fight, chuck, is it worth it? >> i think it is. he has it so he has to fight it no matter what. has there ever been a politician like jerry brown? just like john said, he is 75 years old. he will say what he thinks. he has this. he thinks this is the right idea. he feels he is getting prisoners out of there. san francisco has openings in the county jail. for once, san francisco has less crowded jail. there is a possibility to make movement on this. it is a good issue. it is an issue he has to confront. >> let's make it clear. let's not have any illusions. california prisons. the court standard or the governor's standard, we are still widely overcrowded. >> one of the most overcrowded prison systems, the second most in the country.
>> we will keep an eye on it to see if he takes it to the supreme court. moving on to gun control. congress is advancing bills for federal background checks and stronger laws for gun trafficking. california has some of the strictest in the country. what would new federal laws mean for us? >> not a lot most likely. we already have the background check -- universal background checks in california which goes further than what has been reached in a compromise in congress in the senate right now. that would not cover private person-to-person sales as california does. we have an assault weapons ban and ban on large capacity magazines. we have a ten-day waiting period. these are changes congress is not contemplating. it will not have an affect here. it is playing out messily in congress. just today, 47 house republicans write to speaker boehner urging
him not to even bring the background check to a vote in the house. even though the democrats were able to break the filibuster in the senate this week, it still faces a very uncertain future ahead. then here in sacramento in california, we are looking to make those tightest in the nation laws even tighter. state senate democrats sort of consolidated their bills into a package this week that they call the life-saving intelligent firearms enforcement act. the l.i.f.e. act. always an acronym. these are controversial bills. one would essentially ban the sale and manufacture of any semiautomatic rifle with a detachable magazine regardless of capacity or features. another one would require background checks for ammunition sales. these are very far reaching bills. i have to think it will be difficult even with the
democratic supermajority that we have in the legislature. there is some suburban and rural democrats that will not vote for these probably. they are making a concerted push. these bills come to a first committee hearing next week. >> the issue in california, the gun sales across state lines. in nevada. is there anything nationally that they will do? we had a reporter go to a gun show. it was harrowing to hear the people walking down the aisle and say glock for sale. $100. he handed him the gun. that was the background check. >> that is not supposed to happen, but it does. they should be checking for identification to make sure you are in the state. ironically, the proposal pending in congress is permit dealers to sell across state lines, which they cannot currently do without selling to another dealer in your home state and doing it that way. >> it seems we have an ideal situation in some ways in
california with the far-reaching laws. i remember the chris rock joke. is there anything for congress to take away from california's experience before we move on or are we too different from what congress is dealing with for them to extrapolate anything? >> there is no chance of congress emulating the laws here. there doesn't seem to be the votes for you. although majority of polls show majority of support for the ban. it is closer majority. it is not enough to carry the day. moving on to a shootout of a different kind. the puzzle over whether the kings should stay in sacramento or whether they leave for seattle. late report is showing a group is fighting to keep the kings in town. chuck, this is one of the weirdest sports stories. >> we have back stabbing and
people with double crossing. if we had a mysterious woman in red, we would have an entire novel. it's a small market. sacramento has the lowest att d attendance in the league. it is a single market. we have one team there. they are passionate about the team, but they are not making a go of it. seattle lost its team. supersonics. they have deep pocket guys. >> the ceo of microsoft. >> he and another investor have made a terrific offer, but kevin johnson, the mayor of sacramento, sees this as a line in the sand. he will keep them here. he has investors. >> the latest from the "sacramento bee," the head of the group, chris hanson, is supposedly thinking about raising his bid for the kings by $25 billi2$25 million. the money keeps kicking back and forth. why does sacramento need a basketball team?
>> i was telling josh earlier, i grew up in colorado. we had a baseball team that was aaa and basketball team that was aba. that meant so much to that city. it was a sense of identity. the best team will come to our town and they will play. that happened in sacramento. they have an inferiority complex. that is who we are. we represent nationally as a basketball team. it is misplaced pride. i don't think you can misplace the passion of it. >> even outside of sacramento, there is some participation that is growing to try to keep the kings at least in northern california. chris kelly, the former facebook officer who ran for attorney general a couple of years ago, do you expect if the seattle offer increases, we will see more californians involved? >> that is the intent. that is the key to this thing.
it is david stern. the commissioner of the nba. the board will meet next week and sort this out. they will make a decision. he does not want to have teams move, franchises move on his watch. there have been six so far. he doesn't like it. when he started this, he was not a big fan of the sacramento offer. they have barely demonstrated to him to his satisfaction that money is there. if that is the case, he doesn't want them to move. he will find something to do. the obvious is the expansion team in seattle. he said he will not do that either. oddly enough, this guy who is one of the investors in sacramento is indian. stern is convinced the game will go global. he was just in mumbai telling journalists there would be an indian in the nba in the next few years. >> not as crazy.
jeremy lin was a long shot before -- >> zoom out 30,000 people. the a 's are moving. the kings could leave for seattle. all of the conversation of sports arenas. what does this mean for us in the bay area and sacramento? how does this touch our lives? >> i blame the giants. >> okay. >> here's the deal. baseball was the leader. they were the first to realize, rather than build a baseball tray, you build some fun and the fans came like crazy. >> a destination. >> you have a civic center. you have a place to go and enjoy your self. you enjoy the trappings. baseball does that. football did some of it. you saw jerry jones in dallas. make it bigger and better. now the arenas want internet and connections and the latest state of the art to make that work.
and an odd part of this is the owners are worried about television who are doing just a great job. why should i drive over and pay $50 for parking and $11 for nachos -- why don't i just stay home. >> we shall see what happens. a beloved science museum in san francisco is preparing to reopen at its new home along the em barcadaro. the exploratorium let's kids get hands on experience. here is the latest from the pbs news hour. >> it has glorious views of san francisco bay and 150 new exhibits designed to entice kids and parents into a love of science. among that is a statue of frank
oppenheimer. founder in 1969 and brother of jay robert oppenheimer who engineered the atomic bomb. the exploratorium is a place for visitors to interact with the exhibit. with the old quarters, you could touch everything. get your hands dirty and experience scientific phenomena firsthand. >> 12 years. i love this exploratorium. you can experiment. tinker with everything. that's why it is great. >> these exhibits and aura around them inspired other centers around the world. more than 600. the exploratorium tested the theory that hands on is the best way to teach and learn science. especially in a time when science and technology are sought after national commodities. one of the greatest things you
can do is watch visitors and how they laugh and smile and enjoy interacting with the exhibits we created. paul daugherty translated his knowledge of physics into displays that he says help teach science. this exhibit is about the impact of copper on magnets. >> as soon as a person comes over after interacts with it, that brings the exhibit to life. if you watch, the person comes to life as well. >> as the exploratorium matured, it expanded. exporting the hands on learning to turkey and even to monks in india. it outgrew and when it could not expand, sought space elsewhere. ♪
>> with much fanfare, the non-profit organization launched its new building on pier 15 in san francisco. they invited the press to preview the architecture and showcase what they are calling a premiere science institution. and as successful as the exploratorium has been in expanding and inspiring other scientific centers, it raises a basic question. how do kids learn science and do they need something besides school? rob seimper is associate director and former physicist. >> school is very important. reading and textbooks is important to learn about science. having an experience is important. you need both. laboratories and schools don't do enough to help people really experience the phenomena on their own. a place like this could help
make that happen. >> take this tinkering clock for example. can it teach kids science? >> i have seen kids stare at the mechanism. why did it do it that way? >> to spend time to actively figure things out. in school, you are in a curriculum that is led by the teacher. you go through different stages. here, you have to follow your own path. that turns out to be really important. people do the learning. this place helps you do that. >> but while big science centers like the exploratorium can be exciting, some educators take a smaller approach to appeal to poor and underserved kids. dan runs the mission science workshop in san francisco. in a former high school auto shop. much of the material available here he gathered himself on a tight budget. the kids he serves, it is free.
>> we are going into poor neighborhoods and cities in california starting with san francisco. we are just trying to get space and trying to get kids together and get some support. >> he began his workshop two decades ago. today, a class of fourth graders walked a few blocks to learn about animal habitats. >> next, we have defensive. >> most grade school teachers must cover every subject from history to art to science on their own. fourth grade teacher robert savant says he needs more support if he is to teach science in a robust fashion. >> i can teach and teach in class and they will get a portion, but here it really cements what i taught in class. >> he credits the exploratorium for its pioneers approach and even for bringing old exhibits to his outfit.
he started workshops in greenfield, south of salinas. >> i'm working down in fresno county also. those kids might as well be 10,000 miles away from san francisco. >> poor rural areas? >> yes. fresno county is considered the appalachain of california. >> it helps bring teachers more hands on science in classrooms. >> these teachers come here wanting to learn how to make their classrooms more hands on and rich. this museum is about that. we teach them how to make the exhibits and make small table top versions. >> the goal of both science centers is the same to inspire
science by piquings minds of parents and kids and teachers to show how it works. >> that is spencer michaels reporting. the exploratorium opens on april 17th. we have more online at kqed.org/thisweek. that is our broadcast for tonight. thanks for watching. thanks to our guests. we will continue our coverage of the governor's trade mission next week with a look at his efforts to get china on board with fighting climate change. i'm joshua johnson. thank you for watching. good night.
gwen: guns, budgets and politics, a toxic crew that might actually be going somewhere, tonight on "washington week"." on guns rare consensus on capitol hill. >> we have an agreement on an amendment to prevent the mentally ill and the criminals from getting firearms. >> but agreeing to vote doesn't mean agreeing to enact background checks. >> we should work together to find ways to address this, not in a symbolic sort of way but in
a real way that offers a solution. gwen: just like submitting a white house budget doesn't mean passing one. >> when it comes to deficit reduction i've already met republicans more than halfway. >> the president call this is his compromise budget. but his bottom line is this -- my way or the highway. gwen: still everybody's talks and that at least is good news. we explain why with john dickerson of "slate" magazine and cbs news. john harwood of cnbc and the "new york times." ed o'keefe of "the washington post." and alexis simendinger of realclearpolitics. >> award-winning coverage and analysis, covering history as it happens. live from our nation's capital, this is "washington week" with gwen ifill. corporate funding for "washington week" is provided by -- >> we went out and asked people
a simple question -- how old is the oldest person you know. we gave people a sticker and had them show us. we learned a lot of us know someone well into their 90's. even though we live longer one thing that hasn't change is the official retirement age. how do you make sure you have the money you need to enjoy all f these years? >> additional corporate funding for "washington week" is provided by boeing. additional funding is provided by the annenberg foundation. the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> once again, live from washington, moderator gwen ifill. gwen: good evening. ignore the headlines. the real stories this week could be found in the fine